Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hello, Spring!

I finished my Easter decorating and I'll be instagramming some photos of my vintage toy vignettes.  

These old metal Easter eggs, duck and basket sure are nifty vintage toys that make great decorations.  Wonder if folks will ever be nostalgic over the plastic stuff seen on store shelves nowadays?

   There's so much beauty in the world!
The little peach tree bloomed with it's glorious pink blossoms 
that do brighten up that corner of my garden.

Then the saucer magnolia bloomed as well.  
Such an impressive sight with a tree that is so very large.

Our St. Patrick's Day Treats:

It was a beautiful day here in NC, sunny and in the 70's.  I simmered that big hunk of corned beef on the stove for 3 hours, dropping in potatoes and carrots after 2 hours.  Once everything was cooked to perfection it was scooped out of the seasoned water and then cabbage went in for a few minutes and dinner was served.  We dined al fresco on the veranda since my dinning room table was covered with piles of paperwork I've been sorting for taxes.

When the wind got gusty we came in to make some festive dessert drinks.   I saw this one on Pinterest and thought it was so cute.  For my version I used small scoops of mint chocolate chip ice cream filling up a pretty glass then poured almond milk over it, topping with whipped cream in a can and a rainbow sour candy belt.  Now how cute is that?

Sarah concocted this adult beverage using Midori, coconut vodka, clear strawberry soda from Aldi and garnished with a rainbow sour candy belt.  It was so very tasty!

Everything was going along swimmingly until I let 2 strangers into my house somehow, selling Kirby vacuum cleaners!

Here's what I'm Loving:

How cute are these Easter themed Yankee candles?!
I NEED to stop in at my local store, in the mall, and give these a sniff.  
I bet the go on clearance after the holiday.

Here's what I'm still obsessed with:

Easter themed washi from Dollar Tree.  I've been on a Washi tape hunt every time I go out to the craft stores and Love finding pretty versions of on sale or with a coupon.  But at Dollar Tree everything is a $1 and they have some holiday versions that are beyond cute.  I use washi to decorate my planner each week and I like to do themes.  

I took a photo of my planner a few weeks ago and shared it on instagram and got some good instalove.  What was cool to get that good feedback.  My theme that week was gold and green using that cute shamrock washi as the inspiration.

Thrifty Finds:

Not too many thrifty finds lately for me.  Just the nice old book of Robert Frost poetry.  I reached for it on the shelf because I was drawn to the wonderful light mint green colour of the cover.  I was pretty excited when I discovered it because he is my favorite poet.  I've loved him since the 6th grade when I was tasked to memorize 'Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening' for school and recite it to the class.  It's a beautiful poem, like all of his poems, and I loved memorizing it even though I was terrified of not doing a good enough job of it and stumbling in class.  I would kind of sing it to remember it and recite it to our two pet lambs and all the bunnies while I was feeding them and doing my farm chores.  I still remember that poem, to this day, many many many years later.

What I've been cooking:
Mushroom madness rages on

My dear reader may remember
I absolutely LOVE mushrooms!  Lately, I can't get enough of them!
So I made up another pot of my delicious homemade cream of mushroom soup while it was being cold and rainy out. That's the mushroom soup pictured above with my 'new to me' poetry book.

Here's my version of - Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup
If you like mushrooms, like I like mushrooms, you'll Love it! I used the recipe from as a guide and added my own tweeks.

My Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/4 cup unsalted butter or olive oil
3 -5 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 minced celery stalk, grated carrot
1 1/2 pounds of a mix of cremini, button, portabello mushrooms, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup white wine
2 cups chicken broth, 1 carton
1 cup cream cheese is a whole brick, so prob half or 1/3 is sufficient
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme {Italian seasonings}
1/3 c canned pumpkin puree, good thickener, or more!
Melt butter / olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and veg saute til softened about 2-3 minutes.
Then add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned, about 5-6 minutes; season with salt and pepper, Italian Seasonings to taste.  When veg starts to brown and stick deglaze with the wine, keep stirring and cook for 3-4 mins
Remove from heat and let cool with fan on
When veg mix is cooled, chop up hunks of cream cheese and let warm up slowly, then stir until incorporated and put back on the low heat to warm up slowly, add pumpkin.
Stir in chicken broth when the creamy veg is bubbly, season with salt, pepper and thyme, to taste.

What I've been watching:

Still binge-ing through all 61 episodes of Poirot on Netflix.  So many poisonings, jewels, railway stations and trains, all my fav Agatha Christie themes.

Dreaming of baking:

I was flipping through the current issue of Martha Stewart Living and saw this advertisement for the cutest Easter dessert, so I snapped a photo of it!  
Aren't they darling?  
I sure would love to nibble on one of those, or 2 or 3, hehe.  Or better yet, some of my grammy's coconut cream pie!  Oh, that was the best pie ever!!  I sure do miss her and her cooking.  But I'll probably just end up getting those cute mega carrot cupcakes from Costco. 

Are you ready for Easter?

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